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Wayne State partners with state to train first wave of Michigan's electric and hybrid vehicle workforce

August 17, 2009
University to offer engineering courses in advanced battery systems for HEVs

Wayne State University and the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth (DELEG) are partnering to train hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) engineers as the state's automotive industry transitions to manufacturing more advanced, fuel-efficient vehicles.

Graduate-level courses in advanced battery systems for HEVs will be offered at the WSU College of Engineering this fall and spring of 2010. The courses target employed automotive engineers as well as displaced workers who meet the prerequisites.

"WSU, in conjunction with the state of Michigan and the Michigan Academy for Green Mobility (MAGM), is taking a big step forward in developing an engineering workforce with the specific knowledge and skills to design and manufacture automobiles for the 21st century," said Sean Newell, board chairman for MAGM.

MAGM was established by DELEG in collaboration with automotive industry leaders to ensure that the state has enough trained workers to meet growing demand in this emerging green economy sector. MAGM provides certificate programs and works with educational institutions to provide short-term, targeted training programs that emphasize hands-on practical experience.

"Partnerships and collaborations among government, industry and universities are essential to growing economic sectors and jobs in the state during these extraordinary times," said Ralph Kummler, dean of the College of Engineering. "Wayne State is proud to offer its expertise and lab facilities to support Michigan's economy recovery."

The advanced hybrid electric battery course will familiarize students with battery system design, applications and interconnectivity with other operating systems in HEVs. Students will learn "the basics" including such topics as power demand, thermal management and battery lifecycles.

Admission for the four-credit WSU course is selective with priority consideration given to employed engineers, engineering graduate students, employed technicians and engineering tech program students. Students must have a bachelor's degree in engineering or related degree in the physical sciences.

The course will be team-taught by engineering faculty, HEV engineers from Delphi and General Motors and battery scientists from Ovonic Battery. Classroom lectures will be delivered at Wayne State University's Division of Engineering Technology, with simultaneous videoconferencing at Wayne State's Oakland Center in Farmington Hills and the Wayne State Michigan Technical Education Center at the Macomb Community College (MCC) south campus in Warren. The laboratories include WSU's Vehicular Electronic Lab and Hybrid Power Systems Lab, and MCC's Automotive Technology Laboratory. MCC is providing five HEVs for the experiments.

The first class will begin Sept. 7 and will include four hours of course instruction per week for 14 weeks, including 10 weeks (40 hours) of lectures and four weeks (16 hours) of laboratory time.

For more information contact: CP Yeh, chair, Division of Engineering Technology, Wayne State University, (313) 577-0800, yeh@eng.wayne.edu

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